Geo 143: Migration Theories
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What are the major theoretical approaches for explaining migration?
- -individuals migrate when there is a positive net return (higher income)
- -migration occurs if there are differences in wage rates between countries
How do structural approaches, such as segmented labor market theory, explain the international labor migration, for example from Mexico to the United States?
- 1. Cause:
- -Demand for immigrant labor in advanced industrial economies that have a segmented labor market
- 2. Segmented labor market:
- -Primary sector: Capital incentive, skilled, high paying jobs with good benefits
- -Secondary sector: Labor intensive, unskilled, low paying jobs with poor benefits, employers turn to immigrant labor because native workers don't like the type of work
What distinguishes rational choice approaches from structural approaches?
- 1. Rational choice approach
- -micro focus-individual
- -migration result of rational decisions of individuals attempting to maximize income or minimize risk to households
- 2. Structural Approach
- -macro focus-structures
- -migration is caused by structural economic conditions and/or political structures
What are the characteristics of a structurationist theory of migration?
- -micro and macro focus
- -the relationship between structural conditions and individual action
- -interplay between individual actions and structures
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